Sometimes my life seems a little too hectic, a little too full, a little too run-run-run. In the past six weeks, I’ve taken over three new international countries at work. We joined the neighborhood pool. I’ve been on countless interviews (Don’t worry my boss knows so me telling on here is zero secret!) and I took over planning my brother’s rehearsal dinner in August. To say that I’m lacking time to sit down and write is an understatement, when I feel like I’m treading water most days.
I dubbed today “catch up day” and here I am, sitting in my buddy’s local coffee shop and telling myself to not freak out over the six posts I’m behind at Babble, the bills I need to double-check, and the child that is sleeping at home (with his father watching, of course). It occurred to me that many mothers (and fathers!) must feel this way that life is speeding past and we’re left standing in the blur. When the fog lifts an inch, we realize how far we’ve fallen behind.
CUE THE PANIC.
I’m working hard at no longer panicking about the craziness of life. The truth is that there will always be valleys of overexhaustion and overextension the only thing I can control is my reaction. Here are 10 ways moms can catch up when life is too busy:
Need tips on catch up on life? 1 of 11
Fear not! Just click through!
Designate a catch-up day. 2 of 11
Get up early that day. Eat a good breakfast, make a good coffee, and write a list of what you MUST do to catch-up. I usually pick a Saturday and make sure we have no plans for the entire day.
Clean your house. 3 of 11
I don't know about you, but life just feels far more calm when the house is clean and the laundry is folded. And ironically enough, the house is usually what "goes" first and then I find myself standing in a heap of dirty clothes with a sink full of dishes. Cleaning the house is my first task on "catch-up" day.
Don’t be afraid to state your needs. 4 of 11
For me, I need 1-2 hours to go away and write. Since my blogging income helps feed our family, I don't hesitate to ask my husband to plan on being home Saturday afternoon so I can write. If you have something that you MUST do, don't be afraid to tell your spouse that it's a non-negotiable action and you'll need assistance.
Make sure your bills are paid. 5 of 11
NOTHING induces stress like a late bill. So even if the dishes aren't done, double-check that your bills have gone through. If you're stressing about work, the last thing you need is to stress about money.
Take care of yourself. 6 of 11
I function better when I'm groomed. My friend Amber calls it "dressing for the day you want," but it's true that getting dressed and putting on a little make-up makes me feel more productive and awake. If I have on a pair of shoes and some blush, I'm more likely to sit at the kitchen table and work than find my couch utterly nap-worthy. This goes for every day, not just catch-up day. Stuff starts feeling hectic? Get yourself groomed and dressed.
Phone it in. 7 of 11
I have the Dominos pizza app and I'm not afraid to use it. Same with Tyson Anytizers in the freezer and a box of Lucky Charms in the pantry. Making dinner a five-minute deal versus a 50-minute adventure buys me…45 minutes of get-stuff-done. (My third grade math is amazing, right?)
Delegate. 8 of 11
My CFO dad taught me a valuable lesson about life decide what it's worth for you to do it yourself. Financially, does it make more sense to do it yourself or hire it out? For me, it's worth paying $5.00 for curbside grocery store pickup. I order online and they have it all gathered and delivered to my car after work. It's worth it to me to pay $20.00 to have my car detailed so that I can have an extra hour of playtime with my son. I'm eagerly waiting for the day I can outsource my housekeeping. Are there ways you can outsource for a little extra cash out of your pocket?
Multitask like a boss. 9 of 11
A bit of my desk job is waiting for content approval and occasionally I'll have a blip of time where all of my work is in review status. So in the 30 minutes it takes copy editing to get my landing page content back to me, I can write a Babble post or double-check those bills or make a grocery list. Or at home, I can vacuum while dinner cooks or wipe down the bathroom while my son plays in the tub.
Stay up late. 10 of 11
This one sucks. I like my sleep. But sometimes work needs to be done and the only way to do it is to make more hours in the day. You know, by staying awake longer. Pick one night per week that you'll stay up a few more hours to log some activity hours.
Admit defeat. 11 of 11
Sometimes you just can't do it all. I understand that feeling last month I emailed my Babble editors and cried "UNCLE!" and took the month off to regroup. Is there something in your life that can go, at least temporarily until you find your footing again?